Wired has some great background on a new bill before Congress that INCREASES (pretty non-existent) Americans’ rights to digital privacy. The bill would require state and local law enforcement to obtain a warrant BEFORE they can use stingray surveillance devices. Wonder where our Congressional Delegation will side on this issue?
Ninilchik Tribal Council is going full-throttle on taking care of its community by beginning the steps toward an area-wide peninsula public-transit system complete with a transit hub to ensure access for all to medical and public amenities. The Peninsula Clarion reports that the estimated annual operating budget of $200,000 and an initial start-up cost of $1.2 million that would go toward the purchase of buses, drivers, insurance, etc.
Learn all about the Mat-Su Borough’s new Mayor Vern Halter in a LIVE radio interview with APRN today from 2:00-3:00pm. Call 1-888-353-5752.
One of my little birds shared this photo from a Politico photo essay of “When Halloween and Washington Mixed”. There was some slight confusion of why Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s nephews were so…”bulky” and thought it might be due to the “caribou diet”. Nah, her security guards were geared up for Halloween Alaska style: complete with snow gear UNDER the costume.
The State Pot Board might be on track to satisfy all the policy requirements of the 2014 ballot initiative cum law but the Juneau Empire reports that one rather important aspect is still unsolved: where can visitors/tourists legally consume the now legal cannabis?
TransCanada is probably doing a happy dance about the AK Senate’s vote to buyout the company’s stake in the LNG pipeline from the Peninsula Clarion’s take on the event.
Fairbanks Mayor Karl Kassel gave an administration defining speech to borough employees last Tuesday where he stressed substance over flattery. The end goal according to the Fairbanks News Miner? “I want to end the Super Bowl of local governments.” Then maybe a trip to Disneyland?
Health insurance rates will continue to go up for 2016 as to will subsidies, but the Dispatch explains what the state is doing to help those found in the unenviable situation of earning too much to receive subsidies and have to purchase their healthcare through the Marketplace Exchange.
The AP has a pretty expansive list of how states evaluate their teachers using testing results. Alaska is part of a large contingency that uses test scores as a key factor in teacher evaluations.
Rep. Charisse Millettshared this great picture of the female House Majority members (though where is Rep. Louise Stutes in this female empowerment photo?).
Take heart Democratic Party because Politico charts a path to winning back the House…if Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson wins the prime spot on the ticket.
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly was all like a Human Beinz song at their last public meeting where they decided to take a stand against homeowners buying or selling from being forced to connect to the South Tongass Service Area’s public water system and approved all of Mayor David Landis’ Assembly appointments without a fight.
Anti-Pebble groups are petitioningAKDNR to investigate Pebble Mine backers to ensure they have the met current reclamation requirements with deadlines so the state isn’t left paying for any cleanup that isn’t done after mining is complete, per the Dispatch.
The City of Juneau is but a few short, sweet months away from handing out 12 individual $6,000 grants to homeowners to build an accessory or MIL apartment to help boost Juneau’s housing market. For those interested, the Juneau Empire has the requirements for the grant money and why this is a widely considered a good use of limited fiscal resources.
Sen. Lisa Murkowskitweeted this fascinating Waterworldesque picture of Alaskan waterways regarding the controversial EPA water rule under debate this week on THE hill.
The House Oversight Committee gave REALLY bad marks to federal agencies on their compliance with properly managing and securing their IT systems. The Department of Energy, Education, and NASA all received “F.” The State Department got a “D”and Homeland Security got a “C.” The best marks of a “B” went to the Department of Corrections and General Services Administration, per The Hill.
The vibrant Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly candidates for District 1 did not disappoint one of my little birds. Apparently Robin Davis was the most polished of the group by being able to quote previous experiences and numbers on budgetary items. While David Wartinbee’s fish knowledge was “impressive” and Gary Knopp was “on fire”. The candidate that didn’t get positive reviews? That would be Assemblyman Kelly Wolf for not even showing up. Naughty!
The Cordova Times reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office was awash in 8,000 postcards from United Tribes of Bristol Bay members encouraging her to support their efforts against Pebble Mine or any other similar mine that could affect the Bristol Bay watershed.
Guess who can be found in Japan Times? That would be Alaska’s own Rep.Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)!! The article goes on to explain that while attending a conference as part of a US delegation in Kyoto, he has continued to work toward strengthening the relationships between Alaska and future Japanese LNG buyers.
For Kenai Peninsula Borough voters, Proposition 4 is a $4.4 million bit of consideration. What’s at stake? The ability for Central Emergency Services to replace outdated or past its usefulness tools like a ladder truck and other vital emergency equipment. The Peninsula Clarion explains both sides of this ballot issue.
Tempers and a tempestuous history between Mat-Su Borough Assembly candidates Randall Kowalke and Doyle Holmes made for continued fireworks as the Dispatch furthers the Frontiersman’s original story.
Get those champagne glasses ready because APRN has cheer worthy news! The Alaska wage gap between genders is on its way out with YWCA anticipating equal pay for equal work by 2025!
Secretary of State John Kerry will be touching down on Alaska soil on August 30th, per the Seward City News!
Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Rep. Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) both gave a Twitter shout-out to the awesomeness that is strong women with the right to vote (both in the ballot box and on the legislative floor) to commemorate the 19th Amendment.
Sen. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) is going to have heavy competition going into the 2016 election season. Just with the August primary she will once again face Jeff “I’ve never met a speedo I didn’t rock” Landfieldbut also former Anchorage School Board member Natasha Von Imhof! Whoever wins the GOP primary for District L; they will face the Democratic force that is Forrest McDonald.
This week on the Hill, prepare for some more No Child Left Behind madness, California drought talk (my little bird tells me that nothing more is expected on this issue), the House will examine federal pipeline safety rules, and Hillary Clinton’s quickie drop-in photo op speech to House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday. Fun, fun!
The Mat-Su Borough would like to alter subdivision rules to which the powerful local business block is like, “Umm…No.”
SNL Metals & Mining (no, this isn’t that SNL) unveiled a report that quantified how expensive it is for mining companies to go through the permitting process (Kensington gold mine is cited beginning on pg. 14).
Erin’s Law might be a new law in Alaska, but Rep. Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) and Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) explained to APRN how the work on this issue has just started.
Uncle Ted’s Senate work is being preserved in the basement of UAF where they are currently off limits to the public. 🙁 The Dispatch’s Dermot Cole waxes poetic on the historical importance of his political legacy and why restructuring a $1 million grant for digitizing the documents is in the best interest for all.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly listened to well over 6 hours of testimony (and my little bird told me that number doesn’t count the endless conversations just out running errands) about a proposed ordinance to repeal portions of the riparian habitat protection program. In the end, the repeal died 5/4 and the Peninsula Clarion has the entire nail biting moments.
Gov. Bill Walkersigned Erin’s Law into law last night at an ice cream bill signing celebration. It was an Anchorage Who’s Who affair.
In coffee spitting news, CNN reports that the US military intercepted twoRussian aircraft off the coast of CA and Alaska! This comes on the heels of the announcement of military personnel cuts to Alaska’s Army base, which Gov. Bill Walkerconsiders to be an “opportunity” for Alaska in the long–run.
APRN explains the Alaska Department of Revenue’s report on why Oil Tax Credits are a bad investment for the state.
Shell Oil is thinking of about making the branding equivalent of wearing spanx: just enough change to be noticeable, but not enough to draw too much attention. The Hill reveals that Shell’s change would be dropping the “oil” aspect from its name…completely.
This Just In: Messages left for legislators with their Juneau offices are Calls to Juneau offices are not being forwarded to Anchorage’s LIO and are going straight to Voicemail Jail! It has also been confirmed that at least some GOP legislator’s staffers cannot figure out how to check voicemail in the first place.
Skynet. Is. Real. The dark government program dreamed up for the Terminator franchise, as the cause for world destruction is not only an actual NSA program, but also it is using the exact same NAME for the system that spies on American citizens’ phone calls, per Wired.
My little birds in Kodiak told me that attendees were not impressed with Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and Rep. Louise Stutes’ (R-Kodiak) legislative update last night. The meeting was well attended with many expressing their worries, anger and frustration over education funding cuts, the protracted Session and fish issues. Afterwards, there was a gaggle of people that quietly spoke about potential 2016 contenders. Interesting!